One of my favorite simple pleasures?  MUSICA!

Just thought you might like to see how I’m holding up.  Me and Petey, we are having a wonderful time.   Joe too — he’s taking lots of photos at every book signing.  We’ve crossed Massachusetts into upstate New York, passing through Pennsylvania, into Ohio, then Michigan and Indiana and now we’re in Illinois, seeing America! Everywhere we go it feels like we’re meeting old friends for the very first time.  At each book signing, we talk and laugh like we’ve never been apart, about our picket fence gardens, our families, favorite recipes, trips to England, Beatrix Potter, Willard, tea parties, Martha’s Vineyard, how much we love dishes, GoodreadsGladys Taber, the Beatles, quilts, art, decorating, old movies, our Peter Rabbit rooms, polenta cake, getting our colors done; we exchange kitty stories and talk about favorite books . . . regular Girltalk, about all the little and best things in life.  Some of us have “known each other” for many years, since my first book.  I get to meet moms and granddaughters, husbands and sisters and best friends.  It’s been such a treat.  We’re getting as close to as many of you as we can, you are doing your part too and we meet in the middle and it’s been loverly!

 I’ve updated our EVENTS page almost daily with a couple of photos from each book signing, and even with a new book signing event in Bakersfield California, so don’t forget to check back there for updates.  Also, in case of book emergency, you can, for the moment anyway, probably still find signed first editions of our book at the last two bookstores we went to . . .  Anderson’s Bookstore (630/963-2665) and Better World Books (574-534-1984) ~ I think they’d be happy to send one to you.  (If they run out, you can still pre-order a signed copy from our web store ~ the second printing is due to arrive at the end of October.)

Our Fine Romance Van has gotten very popular!  A  TV station in Kansas City has asked that we park it on their lawn when we get there so they can show it on their Morning Show — oh yes, and incidentally, I get to come too!  You’ll note that the modus operandi for our traveling life, the “bring everything” mantra, still holds. (That’s only the stuff that comes in at night in the photo, you should see what’s in the van!)

Tomorrow, Sept. 12, there’s going to be a Tea Party/Book Signing at a gorgeous Country Club in Wilmette, IL … you can learn more about that on the EVENTS page.  Then it’s off to Iowa City, which made me think you might like this recipe for Iowa Corn Bread.  It’s getting to be that time of year . . . by Friday, I think Fall will actually begin!

Just thought you’d like this ~ Motel life is always fun!  Like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re going to get!  Here is what was waiting for us in the bathroom last night!  They are so formal here! 🙂

The computer is working very slowly today . . . it’s taking forever for a photo to come up, but I wanted to say hello!  Off we go to the laundromat.  Home looks really good from here, but we would not miss this for the world!  Thank you for all your encouragement and LO-V-E, love.  Hope to see you along the way!  XOXO

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465 Responses to SIMPLE PLEASURES

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    Happy Trails, Dahlings! What an unbelievable experience you are having. I know you are missing HOME – that is where the heart is – right now the heart is taking in all of the wonderful towns and girlfriends (& boyfriends!) and having this once in a lifetime happiness. I continue to be so proud of you. In light of all that is going on in the country right now, you, Joe and Petey are a refreshing topic to conversation. I carry you in my heart wherever you go 🙂 Tons of hugs…….Pat from Paso Robles, CA.

  2. Carol Maurer, formally Eureka, Ca.... now Kennewick, WA says:

    Hi Susan and all Girlfriends out there~~~
    Things are starting to slow down for us some. We’ve been here in Kennewick, Wa for 2 and 1/2 weeks now. What a time we had moving. The movers got to our old house when they said they would, although we were starting to panic some as we didn’t hear from them at all after making arrangements. That was out of Florida…. not a local moving company. Frank had gotten really sick a few days before we were to move also. Had to wait just about a whole week for our stuff to show up here. The truck driver was only given our old house phone number and NOT my cell phone number. That delayed a few days. Its been in the mid 90s since we’ve been here. Very hot for this time a year. Of course, we aren’t used to ‘heat’ at all so feeling it much more than usual. So nice to see our family members and old (not age old although they are our age) friends once again. Love our new home…. no stairs to have to go up and down all the time. Grass is green like it should be during the summer. In Eureka, it was green during the winter months and dead during the summer months. Weird.

    So happy to get back on the internet and catch up with your blog, Susan and to hear all the goings on with the girlfriends. I still need to get to the bookstore to see if they do any book signings. Had hoped to do that right off, but lots of things to do first. Susan, you are having such good success with all the places that you and Joe have been. So much fun to be going along with you to all these places. Love the photos.

    Continue having a great time and a safe journey.

    <3 Carol M

    • sbranch says:

      Hope you’re starting to feel settled! Moving is such a huge task. It sounds like you’re already feeling at home. Thank you Carol … enjoy your new house! You earned it!

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Carole – glad to see you back! Missed seeing your comments but glad to know you’re getting settled and comfy in your new home – especially after the hassles you had. Hope you like your new neighbors too!

        • Carol Maurer, formally Eureka, Ca.... now Kennewick, WA says:

          thanks, Janet!! We are getting settled in a bit. Pictures on the walls and my craft room is just about sorted out. Have had to buy a couple storage units, but that’s ok. I have a small business making greeting cards, so alot of stuff to unpack. We like the neighborhood and actually met a couple neighbors yesterday. Said ‘hi’ to a walker-by this morning while I was out helping Frank, my husband, tearing down all the empty boxes. After it cools down a bit, I’m going to start walking.

    • Debs OBrien says:

      Glad to see you back, Carol. What a traumatic time for you. Being an ex~military spouse, I know all about moving and I have been thinking about you often over the last few weeks, wondering and pondering how things were going for you. Happy to hear you are settling in at your new home, which sounds wonderful.

      Debs from Wales xoxo

  3. Carol Maurer, formally Eureka, Ca.... now Kennewick, WA says:

    Help help Susan!!! What address do I let the bookstore know to get a hold of you for a book signing event?

    Thanks and oxoxox
    Carol M

  4. Georgie says:


    Your precious blog is reaching across the airwaves uniting GIRLFRIENDS from all over! We so look forward to hearing from you and sharing with each other. I continue to be overwhelmed each day you write of yet another connection. The Fine Romance van is leaving a wake of Heart to Heart memories, encouraging all of us to Bloom Where We’re Planted.

    It’s just been 4 weeks since your official launch of A Fine Romance at Bunch of Grapes on MV! Look how much has happened since then. TOTAL AMAZEMENT… TOTAL JOY!

    synonyms: delight, great pleasure, joyfulness, jubilation, triumph, exultation, rejoicing, happiness, gladness, glee, exhilaration, exuberance, elation, euphoria, bliss, ecstasy, rapture

    XOXO Georgie, NJ

    P.S. I’m thinking there have been more smiles than miles on your new van!!!

    • sbranch says:

      I think you are right Georgie! I know, so much has happened in a month, I almost don’t have time to tell you about one when another something comes up!! It’ll calm down soon, I’m sure, but enjoying it all as it comes. xoxo

    • Debs OBrien says:

      Waving! Susan, it is thanks to this lovely lady I have lots of lovely pics of your interview to look at! Georgie is a real treasure and I cannot thank her enough.

  5. Becky from Lockport, Illinois says:

    Sweet Susan it was such a delight meeting you at Andersons Bookstore in Downers Grove. Thank you for allowing my Joe to take a picture of us both. I practically ran to school the next morning to show my third graders my picture and talk about writing and sharing your thoughts on writing with them. I really am enjoying your book too. It’s a great read and pretty too! Hugs to you and your Joe!

  6. Lorraine says:

    It was so wonderful meeting you at Anderson’s Bookstore. When the woman in front of me had you sign all her books, I felt like thunking myself in the forehead…. I didn’t think to bring all my books. Oh well, I’ll just have to wait until you do another book tour. So glad to hear there will be more printings of some of your books, including Autumn. Keep us posted. Also, waiting (just a little impatiently) for the tea tin. Keep us posted on that too. Many thanks…

    I hope you, Joe and the Fine Romance van have a fantastic adventure. Enjoy your trip! I know I thoroughly enjoyed my small part of it. Safe travels.

  7. Marianne says:

    I am so so excited to head to Iowa City Saturday morning to visit with you! My husband and I just returned form a trip and he is so sweet to drive to Iowa City with our dog, just so that I can meet you, a dear friend. And not go to a footbsll game??? What’s that all about? Can’t wait!!!!!!

  8. Joan S says:

    You will be our motel expert after all your travels. I love that you are stopping at the laundromat. You could probably do signings there for girlfriends! So glad you are having such a wonderful time meeting everyone.

  9. Cathy Dunn says:

    Dear Susan — Oh dear. Looks like you’ve already been through Pennsylvania; at least that’s what I pick up from your latest blog entry! I live south of Pittsburgh and was hoping you would come somewhere near.

    Just took a little weekend vacation with my husband to Ohio and I brought along “A Fine Romance” and read quite a bit to hubby. We’ve had our English adventures too and hope to go back again….could SO relate to the driving part. You really inspire me to visit Sissinghurt. I’ve heard so much about the White Garden and am glad you mentioned that it’s not in bloom early (although being a flower gardener myself, you’d think that fact would be obvious — it can’t just sit there year round, waiting for visitors!)

    I did figure out that we were in England for a short time last year when you were, although we had headed into Cornwall and spent most of our time there. Our vacation was only about 10 days long….what a luxury of time, to be able to spend two months there!

    Please head the Fine Romance van in my direction on your way home. I will accept nothing less. (PS – I hope you are laughing.) Hugs, Cathy Dunn

  10. Ginnie Judd says:

    My mom and I feel like we hit the jackpot, getting to see you (and Joe) twice this week, in Downers Grove and at the tea. Thank you again for all the joy you bring to so many of us!

  11. Cynde says:

    Thank you for coming to us here in IL. Hope you enjoyed your stay & got a chance to explore Oak Brook Mall on Wednesday. Next time when you come through our area, we told Joe, to check out St. Charles, & Geneva. Many cute/quaint places there too. It was such a joy & pleasure to finally meet you. So many of us kindred spirits have met virtually & even physically because of your cookbooks, web site & facebook pages. Thank you.

    • sbranch says:

      We didn’t get much chance to explore, but we did eat at the Clubhouse twice .. it was delicious! We drove through Evanston last night, past gorgeous Northwestern University, parked at a little park and walked along a rock sea wall to watch the waves on the lake and take pictures!

  12. Karen P. - Wisconsin says:

    Darling, darling girl! It was truly a dream come true meeting you at the tea party today! Loved hearing your sweet voice tell us your wonderful story! Thank you for your kindness in taking time to chat with each of us. And please do thank dear Joe for being the perfect, gracious gentleman when we “accosted” him in the parking lot! LOL! And thanks too for the peah cidah treat! It was all such a wonderful afternoon meeting new friends. Praying for you for safe travels and restful sleeps. xo

    • sbranch says:

      It was wonderful for me too Karen, seeing you there among all those happy faces was a thrill for me. Thank you for coming! See you on Twitter!

  13. Susan Simon (in Illinois) says:

    Good morning, Susan and everyone…
    I wish I could have made the tea yesterday as I am sure it was wonderful! Pear Cider treats at the tea? Darn… really would have liked to have been there for that, too. Fall arrived with a blast of cooler air this morning, Susan…it’s 51 degrees and windy out there… a perfect travel day for you, Joe, and of course, the newest star… your van! 😉 Safe travels the rest of the way as you make your way to Arizona and California. I am still smiling as I remember the evening at Anderson’s book store, and hoping that you enjoyed your stay here in Chicagoland.Take care, and thanks again for all you do and share with us!

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve loved every moment Susan, it’s been exactly what I hoped it would be! We felt that cold wind this morning and loved it, wearing a sweater, but I hear down south where we’re heading into Iowa, temps are much warmer. Thank you!

  14. Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

    Susan & Joe,
    Thank you so much for visiting with us in Chicagoland this week!! Our gathering at Anderson’s Bookshop was so nice. Our Tea Party was simply amazing!! You are such a gifted speaker ~ charming and funny, as you tell the stories of your life!! ♡ It was such fun to meet so many Girlfriends. Thank you for taking the time to get to know us, as you signed books and smiled for pictures. I hope that you are filled with as much happiness as your heart can hold because that’s how we are all feeling today! I think we will be smiling forever, with our cherished memories of your visits. ♡ I emailed you some cute pictures from the Tea Party.
    Safe travels, as you head to Iowa this morning! Know that you are spreading happiness wherever you go!! ♡ You are such a blessing in our lives!
    Happy hugs,

    • sbranch says:

      You sent the cutest photos Dawn! I loved the one of us together! Thank you for being such a wonderful support, it was great seeing your smiling face yesterday!

    • Judy dow says:

      So fun to meet u yesterday dawn. Just think. If I wasn’t retired I couldn’t have been at the tea. Thanks for your encouraging retirement words

      • sbranch says:

        Yes, counting those blessings! xoxo So far, my girlfriends who’ve retired are loving it! I hope it opens new horizons for you Judy!

        • Debra Gibbs says:

          Yes, it’s me! And I love Susan Branch too! How are you, Judy… who would think we’d reconnect on her blog….thanks Susan! Did you get to go to the beautiful tea that was held at the Westmoreland Country Club? Something you said made me think you did. How lucky!
          I’m retired too and loving it! Good to talk to you, Judy!

          • Judy Dow says:

            I can’t believe it’s you! Yes I did go to the tea in Chicago. I got my first Susan branch book in 1987 when we lived in Arizona. Did you just retire? I can’t believe we started our careers teaching together and retired at the same time. Do you ever come back home? Does anyone in your family still live here? Nice to connect. Thanks Susan!!!

          • sbranch says:

            Love it Judy and Debra! So funny to find you meeting here …

      • Debra Gibbs says:

        Judy Dow…did you by chance go to Clay High School???

      • Dawn (Elmhurst, IL) says:

        Hi Judy, So true! I was telling a friend the very same thing today. Retirement is such a lovely gift of time! We have the chance for so many new discoveries in this new chapter of our lives. Although I miss teaching with all of my heart, I am counting my blessings that I have brand new ways to be creative, learn new things, and make a difference! ♡ I wish we had time to talk more during the Tea Party. So glad that we had a chance to finally meet one another! Enjoy the small moments of each day, Judy!
        Warm hugs,

  15. linda g says:

    loved your book…Left a post yesterday but it seems to have disappeared You are my inspiration, Been collecting your books for so long! Fine Romance is the best! Wish it could have a sequel! Happy travels, see you in San Luis!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s me, I haven’t stopped long enough to “moderate” the comments, but here I am. Luckily we have service because we’re in the van flying across Illinois right now! Thank you Linda! See you in SLO!

  16. Angie(Tink!) says:

    Happy Friday The 13th Sweet Sue! Jonathan always Says “It’s His Lucky Day” 🙂 Yay! Your Tea~Party Yesterday was a Huge Hit! All “The Girlfriends” Said That The Peah~Cidah was a Sweet Surprise! 😉 I Love This Photo with You & Petey! & I Love The Musica! “My Romance” Mucica Perfection! as Far a #Thescariestthingyoudo You My Dear are a Natural! Butterflies are Normal & a Good Sign! 🙂 I Promise! Well My Bags are Packed for The Next Stop…Prairie Lights Bookstore Iowa City Iowa! Yay! Continued Safe Travels Sweet Sue & Joe….Love & Always a Bit of Traveling Pixie~Dust! xoxo Poof! ♥*¨✫*¸.♥*¨`.✫♥*¨✫* 😉

    • sbranch says:

      It’s my mom’s lucky day too Angie! The Tea Party was so beautiful — I wish you could have been there. Food was delicious! Thank you for the Pixie Dust, feels Oh! so! Good! 🙂

      • Angie(Tink!) says:

        Your Mom’s Lucky Day Too! Yay! 🙂 Oh I Can Imagine How Beautiful & Scrumptious The Tea Party Was Sweet Sue…(You Know I’m There….Magically….) 😉 Hugzzzzzzzzzz 🙂 ♥*¨✫*¸.♥*¨`.✫♥*¨✫* “Sigh” Twirl….Poof! 🙂

  17. Sharon J. says:

    Good Morning to you Susan! I live in Utah and was anxiously waiting for your arrival only to sadly hear about the delay with your books. I have to say I am so happy for your success with the book though. I quickly called Better World Books so I could get a signed copy of the first printing, I bought the last signed copy! If you do make it to Utah I hope to see you and I’d love to have you sign it again. Reading your adventures makes me incredibly happy, it’s like hearing from a dear friend.

    Lots of love to you and Joe, may your journey continue to be a safe one.



  18. pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

    good morning Susan, good morning girlfriends!! been posting here but I guess the computer ate them all up. hmmm!!! well the trip so far is fascinating, I do love all the beautiful places, but to me home looks best. been busy here, we are raking leaves already, its been hot and dry here so the trees are shedding a bit now. plus we had a little visitor in the henhouse, a baby possum. it was all tangled in the chicken wire and I had to go get a firefighter to help me untangle the little one and get it out of the henhouse before the ladies started pecking at it. not to worry, mama found her lost child and all is well. have to get hopping around here, have extra buckets to put out for the barnyard gang, its been hot here like in the 100’s and dry as a bone. I will be glad when Fall finally gets here and for the cooler temps and rains that come along. I am soo ready for fall and its only 9 days away. well off to go fill the buckets and duck pool, feed the hens and head over to the grange for more feed supplies and to get my almanac for the year. I just the Old Farmer’s Almanac for winter reading and this summer they were right on the button with our weather here…. warm and dry!! you have a safe trip Susan, and a good weekend. have a great day everyone, and a great weekend. hugs…. 🙂

    • judi says:

      Good to hear from you Pat. Wish I could share our gargantuanrnormous amounts of rain with you. Sit and take a deep breath now and then, okay? 🙂

      Ah, sweet Sue, Iowa is JUST below MN:) Sounds like you have been having a grand time, super duper. Safe travels.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Me too, Pat. Good to hear from you again. Here’s hoping for buckets of glorious rain on beautiful [and normally-very-green] Oregon. ☔

        • pat addison (cave junction,OR) says:

          thank you, looks like we may get some rain finally later today, tomorrow and on through the week. we can sure use it. I do sit and breathe, but I have chores to do, so I do have to get up and get them done, no one else is doing it. but I did get a chance to sit and read my almanac, and I love the section on pies. may also try out dome of the old farming methods mentioned in there to see if that helps us get more of our veggies, this year we got none, thanks to the deer jumping the fence. next year higher fence around the veggie gardens, and no deer allowed in the gardens.

  19. Rosanne Murphy (Oregon) says:

    Love seeing all the beautiful, happy faces in your Events section. Thank you so much! It allows us Girlfriends who are not actually there to share in the fun and the joy. As for public speaking, I’ll bet Beatrix Potter didn’t love it either. I’m just saying.;)

    • sbranch says:

      No, I was just looking at a quote of hers this morning where she says she “avoids “advertising” unless it’s with her sheep!”

  20. Amie Ladd says:

    I was so excited to see the bit about the “Kansas City” News Channel, bettcha it’s Fox4 Morning Show, they are a hoot. I am guessing, you will be doing that when you get to Fairway, Kansas. I had been wanting to come see you sadly, I am bookless 🙁 HOWEVER, I was delighted to see Rainy Day Books is charging an admission for “English refreshments” and a Copy of the book. Yippie!!! I will see you on Monday!!

    • sbranch says:

      Perfect! Yes, it’s Fox 4 Morning Show, and after that, we go to NBC for something that starts around 10 ish … TV! Yikes is all I can say.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Sue, let us know if there’ll be links to your TV appearances. Please and thank you kindly !!

      • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

        I did some searching and I believe the station is WDAF-TV which can be found at They appear to have live streaming on the web site, so it may be possible for us to watch. Maybe one of the girlfriends in the area can shed some light on it!

      • judi says:

        Have the phone # and addy where all those viewers can get on the list for your books when they arrive:)

  21. Joan Lesmeister says:

    You’ll be happy to know that Mom’s (she’s 97 & 11/12s) book review on “A Fine Romance” was “It was wonderful, I loved every part of it from start to finish”. See there, a book for all ages my dear! Thanks for taking us along with you on your journey, so fun!!!! Take care! xoxo

  22. Jane F. says:

    I agree with Rosanne (Oregon). It is so great to see the photos of all the events. Almost like being there! Not quite! But makes me feel such a part. I agree with you and Beatrix! I can do it, but not my favorite thing. This whole adventure has been so wonderful, Susan. I cannot believe the people I am now tweeting, facebooking, and blogging, since I began following this journey! What a special group! And such a help to me/us in so many ways right now. This is just the beginning!! I’m almost beginning to think our spirits connect even better, over common interest, when not distracted by age, style, location. It’s truly amazing and a joy, and very inspiring!!

    • sbranch says:

      I know, that “old book by it’s cover” thing — our books have no covers, we are just us. When I first started Twittering there was a 103-year-old English lady on Twitter with the darling name of Ivy Bean. Being her age, most of her friends and family were gone, she lived in an nursing home and was pretty much alone. But she twittered about her every day life so charmingly, she had over half a million followers interested in her morning cup of tea! She was famous in England and all the hunkiest sports guys went to visit her…she was even a guest on CNN. Isn’t that wonderful? No one ever has to be alone and cut off again! One more reason to love the Internet.

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        I think one of the most wonderful things about Ivy is that, at her age, she was even interested in computers, social media, technology in any form. When she was born, the majority of American homes didn’t even have PHONES! And many folks that didn’t grow up with computers and/or don’t need them in their jobs are apprehensive, even antagonistic about technology. Up high, Ivy!

      • Jane F. says:

        What an amazing story! Thanks for sharing that!! Sometime I will tell you a part of my story that has been unbelievably challenging, but amazingly strengthening, too. Odd, or maybe miraculous, how that happens! But, yes, I agree, the Internet is a gift, in a way I never dreamed. I am connecting with wonderful people I would never meet in a million years!! It gets so much bad press sometimes, yet another example of how any tool can be used for good, if we just learn how and determine it to be a light to bring joy to others. I’m very motivated!! And it is all your fault!! lol 🙂

  23. Ann from Maryland says:

    Maybe someone has already suggested this and I know you do not need another thing to do, but I would love to read a diary of your travels across our wonderful country. I have been fortunate to see a good bit of it by car and train, but I know I would enjoy seeing it through your eyes. You have a special way of seeing the beauty in the world and you express it in such a poetic and uplifting way. I know I’m being selfish, but I am hoping this will be the subject of your next book.

    • sbranch says:

      Hi Ann — I started to keep a diary for this trip but realized very quickly that we are scheduled much too tightly for the grace required to do an area justice. We would have to slow way down so we can see all the wonderful places we’ve been hearing about but right now we’re needing to get to the next city and the next bookstore. And when you think about it, England is less than the size of Louisiana, and look how big that book was — we’d probably have to go by regions. But what fun books to do!

      • Ann from Maryland says:

        Susan – I totally understand, just thought I would ask. When I was a child our family took car trips every summer. The country is so vast and there are so many things to see along the way that you really have to step on it to get to your destination on time. And back then, there was no air conditioning in the car. Can you imagine?!!!

  24. Judy Dow says:

    Just got back to Granger, Indiana. It was so great to meet you and hear you talk yesterday at the tea. Thank you to Joe for the delicious pear cider and to you for spending so much time with us. I of course thought of a question on the way home…I wish I would have asked you to make the pigeon sound! My toe hurts Betty. I have tried n tried but can’t get it! Maybe you could put a video snippet on the blog one day of the correct way to say it. Meeting you was one of my dreams come true! Thanks again. Love, Lucy.
    Ps. Great to meet you Dawn and also Patti Reed. Get on this blog girl!!!

    • sbranch says:

      You were so adorable, you and Ethel. I loved the Lucy/Ethel faces you had, they were just perfect! I do get asked about that My toe huts bet-tee sound … I’ve done it at some of the book-signings, but it isn’t pretty! I am not a very good wood pigeon! Thank you for being there Judy!!

      • Cathy McC. says:

        Susan — Lucy and I, along with Pat and Margaret, were like high school girls at a slumber party last night when we got back to Pat’s house after the tea. Just couldn’t stop talking about all the charm that was shared with us at the tea. THANK YOU and Joe for giving so much of your time, your energy, and your hearts to all of us girlfriends. Your talk was absolutely delightful and I just felt right at home with you! (Trying to figure out how we could sit and chat with more of that yummy pear cider!) Safe travels and I’m soooo hoping my daughter can get over to see you in Fairway. Blessings — Ethel

      • Janet [in Rochester] says:

        Sue, have you ever considered putting audio clips in your posts? The sizzle Spiced Pecans make when you pull them out of the oven. Girl Kitty purring. The surf. A foghorns. Jack “chirping” at the birds outside? I don’t know much about the logistics of blogging – maybe your “blog host” doesn’t offer that option. Ree “Pioneer Woman ” Drummond has clips of her [then] 3-year old little boy trying to say some key phrases, and they are LOL funny! Just an idea [not that you need more stuff to do].

        • sbranch says:

          Well, at this point I am my own blogmaster (which is why we have gremlins, I’m sure). But wouldn’t that be fun!

  25. Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

    Dear Susan and Girlfriends,
    *Sigh* I think my previous comment got lost in Gremlin Land. Just wanted to say that you look sooo adorable in all of your pictures, Sweet Sue.

    Three days in a row of almost 100 degree weather (whew), but now the pay off–breezy, cool, blue skies and sunny. A beautiful day!

    I’ve been following all of your travels, just not saying much. Even though I only teach 2 days/week, the beginning of the year is still a busy time. I’m also trying (the operative word is trying!!) to be patient for your swing back East and hopefully to Lititz, PA!!

    Oh, how I wish we ALL could meet in one spot and have a great big reunion. There are so many girlfriends I would love to see. It would have to be for a non stop weekend b/c it would take that long for all of us to see each other and then for you to meet us. It’s fun to dream!

    You’re in my prayers with all the traveling you and Joe are doing! Continue to have fun, take your vitamins, and get plenty of rest so you will be in good shape to spend some quality time with your parents out West.
    Love you!

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you, Linda, I do love being in everyone’s prayers!! It’s a lovely place to be!

    • Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

      Hi Linda,
      I’ve missed you! I’m like you, one big Susan Branch reunion! I think that would be awesome! So many girlfriends to meet. And I know we will all love each other in person, as well. I was at the Hudson, OH book signing and everyone in line was so nice. We had so much fun, it was like a mini party just standing in line! I really hope Susan gets your way eventually. You won’t be disappointed when you meet her, she and Joe are simply gracious and we would all love to have her for a neighbor and friend.
      Hope things are going well. I am glad to be back home, but sure miss the beautiful weather we had while in OH. I am so ready for fall!
      Stay in touch!

      • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

        It is so good to hear from you! I’m so glad you got to see Susan in OH. What fun! After several “feels like 100 degree” days, it is so nice to have it cool again. Windows open a crack at night and curl up under a light quilt instead of kicking off the covers being hot (even with a/c). I even saw a red leaf fall from my pear tree this afternoon. And my darling cat, Baby Button wants to sit on my lap again now that it’s getting cooler!

        Hope you get some nice weather! I love to read your comments, my friend!

    • Ann Y in PA says:

      Linda, I am with you…hoping for a stop in Lititz on the way back home….keeping my fingers crossed !

  26. LindaH (northern IN) says:

    Dear Susan,

    I met you and Joe at your Goshen signing and thoroughly enjoyed the event! You are as gracious and warm in person as I expected. I treasure my 2014 calendar that you signed (on my BD), as well as your wonderful book. It was such an amazing evening with many lovely woman (and a few men). How do you keep up your stamina for all of the traveling? I guess your healthy eating and exercise regimen must do wonders. Thanks for coming our way, and I hope that you’re able to stop again some day.


  27. Wendy Louise says:

    I think something might be wrong with my iPad, my last two small comments are still in moderation ? Maybe I should switch to my computer to leave comments? Wishing you great energy and Love all along your travels, there are such wonderful girlfriends out there, I am so Hap Hap Happy for everyone ! 🙂 oxoxoxoxo

    • sbranch says:

      No, it’s me Wendy Louise, yesterday was so busy that I didn’t get to do “moderation” on the blog, but I’m in the van now, we’re driving into Iowa, and I’m reading along and enjoying what everyone’s talking about … only 117 comments to go!

  28. Laura Anne says:


    Thank you so much for taking us along on this trip with you!!!

    Will you be passing through the area of Iowa where the movies “Field of Dreams” or “Bridges of Madison County” were filmed? I drove through Iowa once and always wished we had stopped!

    • sbranch says:

      I don’t really know. We just arrived in Iowa City — it’s around 5 pm, and our next book signing is tomorrow at Prairie Lights Bookstore from 1 – 3.

  29. Jamie from Doty Island, WI says:

    Hi Susan,
    Any plans on coming to Wisconsin for your book signing? I and several of my girlfriends would love to see you in our state too.


    • sbranch says:

      We have sold out of books! So we stop our tour in Wichita and head south to Arizona to go see my Dad. It was unexpected.

  30. Patti Reed says:

    OK Lucy, I’m on the blog. So great to meet you and your friends!. Susan, I so enjoyed meeting you yesterday. All my friends were so happy that I finally got to meet my Best Friend! My girlfriend took a lot of pictures and even got one of me standing in front of your van! I hope the rest of your trip goes wonderfully!

  31. Deb from Dixie says:

    Westward Ho……what an adventure!
    I know we all feel grateful for the chance to be traveling buddies again. It is heartwarming to read all the comments, and see the photos from the AFR booksignings…..”That Heart of the Home” gets bigger and bigger….. like a big hug encompassing us all….. as more girlfriends connect in the most wonderful ways.

    I loved you telling us about Ivy Bean, so sweet……and how meaningful… 103 she found a connection to so many people……letting her know she was not alone.

    So many of us girlfriends feel that kind of connection because of this blog, and because you are an inspiration to our hearts and spirits.
    Safe travels..

    • sbranch says:

      XOXO Deb.

    • Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

      You’re so right, dearest Deb!

      I love all the connections I’ve made through Susan’s blog. And you’re one of those special Girlfriends!

      Having a positive outlook on life and giving thanks for all the big and little blessings in our lives are two great ways to make friends. I think that is why Susan’s blog is so attractive. Susan, you have the “happy gene”–some of it might be just who you are, but I’m sure you have developed those winsome ways throughout the years of good and bad– and you so artfully share your way of life with us. Thank you for that! “To have a friend is to be one.”

      I’m so glad I have so many friends on this blog who are GOOD at being friends. I feel blessed!

  32. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    Wish I had met “Ethel” and “Lucy” at the tea party! In all the excitement I forgot to look for them! 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      They were at the table behind you I think.

      • Cathy McC. says:

        That was the hardest thing — wanting to meet all the girlfriends, but simply not enough time. I imagine an event like the Gladys Taber Birthday would allow for more acquainting. If I ever have lessons to get on Facebook, I could post a pic!!!!
        Where do you live in Wisconsin, Karen? Are you one who drove down from Eau Claire?

        • Karen P - Wisconsin says:

          I live in Green Bay! Met up with another Susan Branch girlfriend, Francine, (whom I’d never met in person ) along the way! Such fun! Cathy, were you wearing a light blue blouse? Short hair? I may have a pic of you greeting Susan and Joe when they came in?

  33. judy young says:

    Hi Susan, I hate to bother you while you are on the road, but maybe you can let Kellee know if you talk to her that I have not received my Union Jack mug. I had order that and your 2014 calendar and I received an email saying they had both shipped over a week ago. I received the calendar right away, but so far have not received the mug! I replied to the email giving me details that they had shipped but maybe they haven’t received it because I have not received a response! Thanks, Judy

    • sbranch says:

      Just so you know, you can go onto any shopping page and contact for Kellee is right there. She’s gone until Monday, but if you remind me or if you want just contact here directly … either way is good.

  34. Sylvia in Seattle says:

    Ivy Bean, what a great name! Couldn’t get my 100 year old Mom to touch a computer keyboard which made me sad. I think it would have opened up so much for her including e-mailing her grands and great grands. But wonderful for Ivy and all of us old things that avail themselves of the connections possible. No need to be bored or lonely. Especially since all the excitement lately on Susan Branch’s Blog :-). Love all the pictures taken at your book store stops. Maybe that 2nd printing will be ready early like the first. Hope so. Happy travels.

  35. Chrissy Thrower says:

    Oh, Susan! Even though your ‘Homebody Selves’ are missing HOME, how cool is it to leave one LoveFest to head to another knowing you are heading to a TV interview, Dad, Mom, best girlfriend for life, and your ‘ol stompin’ grounds!
    The day we met you and Joe on that hot day in Goshen–my husband kept telling me he’s never seen me so smiley faced!. (still teases me!) YOU are leaving smiley faces and warm hearts all over the country:) 🙂 😉
    Still looking for the right ‘Peah Cidah’ that doesn’t taste like BEEYAH! Do we have that brand in th US? XXOOChrissy

    • sbranch says:

      Plus I’m my own smiley face Chrissy! Yes, we do have Magner’s in the US. In fact Joe had a couple of cases delivered to the Tea Party in Wilmette, IL to share with the girls! So I know it’s here. Somewhere. xoxo

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        We found Magner’s Pear Cider at Total Wine And More. Happy to know it’s an Irish product. Erin Go Bragh 🙂

    • Karen P - Wisconsin says:

      Our fave grocery store chain here has a liquor department attached to it. I requested it of the manager and they now have it in stock! My hubby had it when we visited England in 2010 so it was nice to know he could still enjoy it here. Maybe you have a store there that you could do the same, Chrissy?

  36. Carol Maurer, formally Eureka, Ca.... now Kennewick, WA says:

    Oh, so much fun to scroll down from beginning to end and see so many familiar names of girlfriends here. I truely missed reading what all of you had to say those couple of weeks or so that we were so busy moving from CA up to WA and I wasn’t on the internet. Just so happy to be back!

  37. Asha says:

    Hi Susan & Joe! Hope this finds you safe and happy! I have to let you know that I ordered the hooked rug, Octopus’ Garden and absolutely LOVE it! It’s perfect in the upstairs bathroom we just finished doing over. It’s so soft under my little piggies too! Thank you so much for everything, Susan! Can’t wait to hear more about your cross country trip. I’m enjoying all the comments from our girlfriends after they meet you! They, like me, were just thrilled to meet you and Joe and see how gracious you both are! Safe travels and we will keep the prayers coming! oxoxox

  38. Cindy Maulin says:

    hi susan…you just rambled through my old neck of the woods and hearing everyone talk about Downers Grove and Elmhurst and the Oak Brook Mall just made me happy that you were there but a teensy bit homesick…. we have been to the Clubhouse restaurant too…actually….my parents used to live in a condo located in the Oak Brook Club right across the street from the mall…I always said it was the perfect retirement for ME!!!!! I was practically raised in that Crate and Barrel store!! Love your last newsy post…I just laughed when you said ..” to the Laundromat”….here you famous internationally known author and artist..beloved story-teller and cookbook writer….going to the Laundromat on a Tuesday night…..and that’s why all of us love you and are inspired by you each day…..I never come away from this blog, (or any of your books for that matter) not feeling happy, re-energized and ready to take on the next task at hand…..I truly appreciate that…..The weather broke here and we were down to 59* this morning..time for the Autumn book….love it more than ever…. continued safe and fun travels…see you around the bend.. 🙂 love, cindy

  39. KarenP (Wisconsin) says:

    I know I’ve tweeted this but I wanted to say here, too, how thrilled I am for you with the overwhelming success of A Fine Romance! And it’s really just the tip of the iceberg for you! You’ve been loved by so many of your girlfriends for so long but now I think things are exploding for you! I (along with all the girls) am SO excited to be on this journey with you! What an adventure! Hope you don’t mind us all tagging along! xo….Karen P.

    • sbranch says:

      I’ve always run a bit below the radar, it’s been sort of a small club of just us, which has been wonderful. And this is wonderful too, and you’ve been with me the whole way. Who could ask for anything more! xoxo Karen!

  40. Pam Fortune says:

    Hi Susan
    You look as though you are having a great time on your book signing tour and what a treat for all the girlfriends to be able to meet you in person. Here in the north of England autumn has already begun and I haven’t sold my house yet, hope I don’t have to move in the depths of winter but what seems to be a right idea will all unfold in its right time. Enjoy your autumn travelling around the different states of America I am sure it is great fun as well as being tiring. My next holiday is in November I am going further North to stay with Fleur in her Edinburgh apartment to enjoy an evening with Roger Moore (James Bond, Roger Moore) and then we will head south to the Scottish Borders to have a week with her in her new home. All good things to look forward to. Carry on having a safe journey and look forward to reading and seeing your travel progress.

  41. gentility says:

    Susan love ~ Our beloved Christie delivered your signed book to me and I have
    been enthralled reading your captivating comments on Mother Britain…. My dear, you do the Isles proud~ Safe journey through this grand land of independence while meeting a drop in the bucket number of grand girlfriends.
    I may just get me a supply of peach cidah to cheer you and Joe on along the way.
    If fate goes well, you both may just be our future ambassadors to Great Britain….or wherever you choose….Love you, sweet Sue ~

    • sbranch says:

      Thank you so much Gentility, but it was really easy, the Isles do themselves proud in the best way possible, I was just the appreciator. I’m so glad you’re enjoying it, thank you to Christie from me too. xoxo

  42. Ozark Mountain Mama says:

    Susan you should be able to post links so we can ALL see you in all your TV glory. How exciting for you. How fun for us.

    • sbranch says:

      I just heard from the FOX people that they don’t have links, that we would have to “set our DVR’S at home,” which we aren’t at home, and also we don’t live in Kansas, so I’m not thinking that’s going to work! We’re trying to think of another idea!

      • Jackie P says:

        Susan, am vacationing in Maine for two weeks, and — thanks to you for the idea — I’ve purchased one of those miraculous mobile hotspot devices. Now, I can check your blog every day on my laptop and keep connected! Those little devices are wonderful and am so happy to have it. Thanks for the idea. Am loving each posting and am sending you and Joe my best wishes at each and every stop!!!

  43. Jack says:

    Remember to keep alert to the weather — when moving West after Kansas , plan your route so as to avoid these now devastated locations in Colorado and New Mexico … for storms on TV and plan to miss them !

    • sbranch says:

      I think we will miss them, thank you Dad … Joe is taking us pretty much straight south and then over to you. xoxo

      • Mary in Phoenix says:

        If you have a chance to visit Oklahoma City, the memorial to the bombing victims is very stirring. We have passed through on road trips both in the daytime and at night where the lights on the reflecting pool are beautiful. Such a nice tribute. Then across on Route 66 through New Mexico and hopefully a quick stop off the freeway in Winslow where you can get a picture “standing on a corner”. There really is a girl, my lord, in a flat bed Ford 🙂 And the restored La Posada Hotel is nice to see too. Happy Trails to Arizona …

      • Jack says:

        New Mexico is South — and West…..check out hiway 40

        • sbranch says:

          You know what’s funny? We had planned to drive all the way across Colorado into Utah. But running out of books stopped us from making book signing appointments in Colorado — we were stopped after Wichita, Kansas. We drove through some pretty good rain yesterday. I can’t imagine what’s happening in Colorado.

          • Mary in Phoenix says:

            I-40 is definitely the way to go. What’s cool is that much of the western part of I-40, from Oklahoma City on, parallels or overlays the historic U.S. Route 66. Lots of funky things to see along the way … google it as you drive it. Sending prayers to the flood victims in Colorado …

  44. Rosemary says:

    Did you ever dream of doing a tour like this? It is so fun to see all the girlfriends’ comments. You will be right smack dab in the middle of the country in Wichita so it is a great place for all of the girlfriends to have our reunion…right?
    AND so, on that note, my bff Linda and I are heading from North Texas (Dallas area) to Wichita on Wednesday to see you. I (we) am so excited that I am afraid I will not be able to say a word to you. Starstruck. We are making a mini road trip out of it and going to some quilt shops, etc. Never been to Wichita. Travel safely and have some more fun! See you soon. I am wondering how straight south Joe is taking you. We are right straight south on I35.

    • sbranch says:

      I did dream of it. While writing the book I promised myself when it was done I was going to go “see everyone.” But I didn’t dream it quite as big and wonderful as it’s turned out to be! Don’t be starstruck, it’s just me. See you in Wichita!

  45. Ann Y. says:

    Susan – know you are busy and having fun on your road trip but I had to share something that happened on Friday….I am a middle school librarian and at the beginning of the school year the new 6th graders are so excited about the “big” library and getting lots of books. One little girl came up to me with the call number for Halloween books and asked for help finding it. I asked if she wanted “scary” books, or books about celebrating Halloween. She replied she wanted books about fall, and fall recipes and ideas, because it was her favorite time of year. So, I found her the book about Halloween, but then I suggested she look through our cookbook section (646.1) because we have lots of neat cookbooks that the Family and Consumer Science classes use. OF COURSE we have a copy of Vineyard Seasons so I showed her the section on Fall ( how to decorate and enjoy the season), then showed her my favorite recipes, and said how you can celebrate every season with this book. “Oh, may I take this one too…or can I only take one at a time…because I want THIS ONE!” Middle School means you can take as many books as you want as long as you have no overdue items….so off she went to make her Fall a special time. I just wanted to let you know there is a whole new generation of people like us coming….who love life, and making life fun, and making good things to eat for family and friends, and just enjoying this world! PS….I am bringing my personal copy of Autumn in for her to enjoy !

  46. judi says:

    A little rain break in the golf we are watching so catching up on your tweets, etc.

    Tomorrow when you are on tv, just think of it as talking to all of your sisters and brothers (cause, of course, WE all think we ARE part of your BIG family:) Feel the love, DEEP BREATH, and prayers, DEEP BREATH, and happiness, giggles, joy, and smooches we are sending you (Joe, too).

    Have fun in Kansas and would love to hear, once you land at your Dad’s, what worked and what you would change about your trip. I think it would be hard to pack up every other day. ENJOY the adventure! xxxooo judi

  47. Hi Susan! Does my heart good to read of your travels across this great USA and all the girlfriend chit chats going on. I was invited to one of my cherished friends today for a lovely tea lunch and we had a wonderful get together. My cup runneth over. I could not stop talking about you and AFR as she also loves England. I wished I brought my book with me for ‘show and tell’ but I did not. Just had to ‘tell’. 🙂 Happy trails girlfriend!

  48. judi says:

    Was just checking the maps and once you leave Wichita you will most likely be going within shouting distance of the Pioneer Woman’s home:) in OK. She has done a few book signing tours too, except I believe she flew to her cities.

    • sbranch says:

      She has three children, I’m sure she flew! No time for loitering when you have kids at home waiting for mom.

      • Pat Mofjeld from St. Paul, Minnesota says:

        I had to smile when I read this. Plus some of us have different feelings about flying… 🙂

  49. linda g says:

    oh I so love your dad! He’s watching out for you , his lovely daughter! Safe travels!

  50. Sandy Richmond says:

    Hi Susan, I am a little bit embarrassed to ask this, bit I am going to do it anyway.. I don’t understand the saying on the new bird bookmark… Can you explain it to me? It doesn’t make sense to me…. 🙁 Thanks! And it is fun to see all of the pictures from the events.. Thanks for posting them! Enjoying beautiful fall weather in New England, from Sandy in Attleboro..

  51. Linda from Bak., CA says:

    It sounds like you are having a wonderful time and bring a lot of joy to your girl friends. I am very excited that you are coming to Bakersfield. I would be jumping up and down but I had a little foot surgery on Friday and jumping is not recommended. I really enjoyed reading your book – its was like a letter from a friend. Stay safe and will see you in November at Strawberry Patches.

  52. judi says:

    Yip, Yip, YIPPEE:) I just saw you on live streaming from ! I believe you will be back on in the next segment too. I was THRILLED:))) You were wonderful!

  53. Mary in Phoenix says:

    OMG … just saw you on live stream from Kansas City! Here’s the link:

    You were AWESOME! No sign of butterflies at all. You’re getting pretty good at this! The cool thing was they played Dean Martin musica right before you were on … “When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie that’s amore”. It was PERFECT. Probably didn’t see the Fine Romance van because of the rain, but the studio interview was brilliant. You looked lovely by the way, and your ease & passion talking about the English countryside was so genuine. You should be very proud. “She Believed She Could So She Did”. XO

  54. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    Beautiful job with your interviews on WDAF Fox 4 Kansas City! You looked so cute and not nervous at all! What wonderful exposure for A Fine Romance and your work! Love it! xo

  55. Welcome Susan and Joe to Kansas City ! Great interview on the news this morning! I predict the girlfriends will be multiplying exponentially on your blog. Be sure to grab some BBQ or steak before you leave. Jess and Jim’s or Fiorella’s Smokestack in Martin City, Mo are exceptional. Hope to see you tonight. 🙂

  56. judi says:

    Saw the next one too:) However, on the other channel I think you were pre-empted by the news in D.C. Have a grand time tonight.

  57. Karen P - Wisconsin says:

    I’m sure someone has already posted this link but just in case, this is the best interview, I think! You did fabulous! xo

  58. Debbie P ~ Weedsport, NY says:

    Oh my gosh! Susan! I just watched your tv interview…it was awesome! I found the link on FOSB fb site. You are such a doll! Your gracious, humble self just radiates through your smile and your body language! You did an amazing job….one would never, for a minute, guess that you might be nervous. Hope the evening signing is fun…stay safe and just soak in all the love and good energy being sent to you and Joe!

  59. Nancy B says:

    Hi, Susan. I just wanted to tell you I Googled Kansas City TV/Susan Branch interview and was able to watch it online. You were GREAT! So poised; you’re a natural. Hopefully, this is the link in case others would like to view it: I am so looking forward to meeting you (and you, too, Linda). 🙂 Have a wonderful visit with your relatives in Arizona and California. You will certainly deserve a good rest before your next book signing stops.

    Happy Travels!
    Nancy (from Bakersfield)

  60. Carrie says:

    Hi Susan!

    Perhaps you have it but I found the link to your interview on Kansas City Live today:

    Loved it! Carrie

  61. Debbie '51 says:

    ooooooooohhhh! I watched your interview and you were great! How nerve wracking must THAT have been – and you didn’t even falter. You are gorgeous! Love love loved it!
    Can’t wait to meet you in CA!

    Stay safe!
    ♥ Deb ♥

  62. judi says:

    Good Morning Sweet Sue and girlfriends:) Nice moon out there. Well, I just went back to and checked for Susan’s other interview and there it was:))) Look for the video under KCL (Kansas City Live). Excellent interviewer and Susan you were “spot on”! For us that weren’t on the tour route, this was a delightful treat – you looked adorable! xxxooo judi p.s. 🙂 Hope you slept in this morning after a late night (at least that is late for us “larks”).

  63. Mary Brehm says:

    Hi Susan. I just received my little autumn banner in the mail. I walked out to my mail box before I got in my car to go grocery shopping and there was the envelope.! I was so excited i wanted to tear it open on the spot! But, I told myself no, dont do it in the car, Wait until you are back in the house after your shopping. saaaavoooore …so I did. I thought about it the whole time I was in the store!
    I did my shopping, got home, put away my groceries, made myself a cup of tea, and then I opened my little envelope! Pure Joy! I even loved the tiny piece of bubble wrap lovingly wrapped around it! Oh, how the tiny details, make such a difference. I lovingly hung it up and now every time I look at it, it makes my heart smile. I am so happy I found you. Thank you for being you. Your Friend, Mary <3

  64. Joan Lesmeister says:

    GFs I just watched our darling girl on Kansas City Live video! Easy peasy to find (even for me) & you did a great interview dear Sue! Very proud my dear! You looked lovely & your outfit was perfect! Fun start to my day! Happy day GFs! xoxo

  65. Lynn McMahon says:

    ~ Good Morning Susan and all the Girlfriends~
    I returned from my road trip late Sunday night~ I’m not if I told you I that I was going to Colorado with my girlfriend to see her son ( practically my son too) before he moves back East~ we got to Boulder last Monday and did get to tour the Celestial Seasonings Tea Company factory~What a great tour! ~Unfortunately by Tuesday the rain slowly began and we didn’t get to see much more of our planned stops due to the horrific flooding~ It took us 3 days to leave but Thank God we arrived home safely~ Please everyone be safe in your travels as you enter the Western part of the country~ Also, continue to pray for those effected by this tradegy and the one in Washington D.C . yesterday~
    ~Counting All My Blessings~

  66. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    FYI – googled “Susan Branch on TV” and found a link to one of your TV appearances = Hope this is helpful!

  67. Janet [in Rochester] says:

    PS – geez, forgot to add – you did SO WELL on TV! You must have been super-nervous but did not APPEAR nervous one bit. Great job, my friend!

  68. Jeanne Hedin says:

    It was so delightful to meet your smiling, charming self in Iowa at the Prairie Lights Bookstore! Your genuine warmth surrounded all of us. Because my sweet husband, Bob, surprised me with this whirlwind trip down from Minneapolis, I forgot my camera, lambie bookmarks and other books for you to sign! I did, however, have “A Fine Romance” firmly in hand. 🙂 We so enjoyed meeting Joe as well – so warm and gracious. Safe travels!

  69. judi says:

    How apropos, your last signing Wed. (for a while) on the full harvest moon and your “vacation” adventures begin close to the autumnal equinox on Sunday.

    The look of pure love and joy in that first picture of you above on the blog, brings tears to my eyes. So happy that you got to meet/see in person so many of the “girlfriends” that love and adore you. Happy trails dear ones. xxxooo judi

  70. Stephanie says:

    I am loving this trip! Ok -it’s not as fancy for me to be smushed in the back of the van (glad I brought my pillow!) than it was for me to be on board the Queen Mary – but am loving the USA!

    I just found a clip on youtube of your interview with the television station. You were fantastic! Well done.

    On another note – there is a show airing now in England (I blame you for me becoming an obsessed Anglophile) on Tuesday nights called “The Great British Bake Off”. It’s not aired in the US – but usually on Wednesdays on youtube some kind English soul has posted the 1 hour episode. It’s fantastic. You can see the first 3 episodes on youtube (for this season) if you hunt around. It’s a cooking competition with regular people – but they make all sorts of British things like bisquits (cookies!), trifle, buns etc. – all stuff to go with tea! I know you will love it – there are little UK flag banners all over the show, it’s so cute. I know Susan and the girlfriends will love it.

  71. Ann Y in PA says:

    Susan – know you are busy and having fun on your road trip but I had to share something that happened on Friday….I am a middle school librarian and at the beginning of the school year the new 6th graders are so excited about the “big” library and getting lots of books. One little girl came up to me with the call number for Halloween books and asked for help finding it. I asked if she wanted “scary” books, or books about celebrating Halloween. She replied she wanted books about fall, and fall recipes and ideas, because it was her favorite time of year. So, I found her the book about Halloween, but then I suggested she look through our cookbook section (646.1) because we have lots of neat cookbooks that the Family and Consumer Science classes use. OF COURSE we have a copy of Vineyard Seasons so I showed her the section on Fall ( how to decorate and enjoy the season), then showed her my favorite recipes, and said how you can celebrate every season with this book. “Oh, may I take this one too…or can I only take one at a time…because I want THIS ONE!” Middle School means you can take as many books as you want as long as you have no overdue items….so off she went to make her Fall a special time. I just wanted to let you know there is a whole new generation of people like us coming….who love life, and making life fun, and making good things to eat for family and friends, and just enjoying this world! PS….I am bringing my personal copy of Autumn in for her to enjoy !

  72. Debs OBrien says:

    Nipping in while I have the chance to say Good Morning and have a little read of what’s been said since I last peeked. Busy trying to follow you on your adventures across America as best I can with my laptop gone to laptop hospital 🙁

    Really thrilled to be able to watch your telly interview! Such a treat, bit of a struggle to find a link that worked in the UK, but got there in the end and it was wonderful to see you. It must have been so very exciting for you, and now you know the vid has gone at least Across The Pond, if not further afield too.

    Best go read up now before I have to go do housework 😉

    Waving from Across The Pond
    Debs xoxo 😀

  73. Chris Wells in Knickerbocker, W TX says:

    Hi Susan,
    First a big thank you to Cathy Schultz for posting the interview you did on KCLive-TV. Wow, if you were nervous it sure did not show!! Girlfriend, you look like you have been doing this all your life! It won’t be much longer you will not be flying under the radar, EVERYONE is going to know who you are!! You will be showing up on Good Morning America, The Today Show and Charlie Rose! Prime Time!
    Take care and enjoy the rest of your trip, I know your dad will be so glad to see you at long last! Enjoy your time together!
    Jim is now reading your book. He was so impressed after meeting you and Joe. I’m pleased to see him reading again. Jim has the beginning of demensia and his doctor has started him on medication, so we will see. He may not remember what he’s read.LOL, but just to see him reading again is a good thing!

  74. Linda from Lancaster Co. PA says:

    Dear Susan and Girlfriends,
    May I just say two words?
    Honey Crisp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I’m hoping that wherever you are, you can find a couple of those apples to savor.

    And if you live across the pond and are reading this, what are your favorite apples to eat?

    I’m savoring all things fall: a patch of red leaves on my pear tree, pumpkins, mums, apples, the rattle of browning corn ready to be harvested, crisp chilly mornings. . . .

    And, hey, how about that gorgeous full moon! It was so bright I felt like I was in a spotlight on my back patio!
    Love to all of you and thanks to Sue who makes it all possible,

  75. Jack says:

    I contacted Kellee for a 2014 Calendar today….didn’t want you to run out–I wouldn’t want to be someone’s kitty that always ran out of stuff , like cat food……

  76. Sandy from Ca. says:

    Oh my I was so excited to see how well A Fine Romance is doing and feeling very lucky that I get to see you in San Luis Obispo, Ca then to my surprise I checked out to see where you are off to next to find out before you go to SLO you will be here in Bakersfield, Ca! I am doing the Happy Girlfriend dance all over the house. Hope to get some of my Girlfriends here in town to come and see you while you are in town. Can’t wait to welcome you back to Ca 🙂 Travel safe and enjoy your time with Blog Daddy <3

  77. Jack says:

    Platt river flooding , be careful there –big chemical fire in Okla. Last night , bad air —
    Big rain in most of Texas so pick your route with care!

  78. Jeanne Hedin says:

    It was so delightful to meet your smiling, charming self in Iowa at the Prairie Lights Bookstore! Your genuine warmth surrounded all of us. Because my sweet husband, Bob, surprised me with this whirlwind trip down from Minneapolis, I forgot my camera, lambie bookmarks and other books for you to sign! I did, however, have “A Fine Romance” firmly in hand. 🙂 We so enjoyed meeting Joe as well – so warm and gracious. Safe travels!

  79. Ann says:

    Hi Susan and Joe, so glad to hear you are both having a ball on your road trip but it sounds like you might both be in need of another holiday by the end of it! Can I offer you a little tip for your next trip to the UK? If you ever return to Sissinghurst (and surely you must) PLEASE go late in the afternoon, abut 4.30pm when most of the tourists have gone home. We did just that last week and had the entire garden to ourselves and it was HEAVENLY. Peace and quiet and just the sound of birdsong. For that last hour of the day Sissinghurst was the MOST ENCHANTING place to be. I’m so glad we went back for a second visit and hope you will both return someday.
    Warmest best wishes to you both,
    Ann in Thame xx

  80. Janet in Rochester says:

    Sue – FYI, I found a link for your TV appearance on YouTube at

    I sent a comment with this a few days back but those darn Gremlins ate it for breakfast. You know how ravenous they become when they’re traveling… :>)

  81. How did you get starting doing all this? I am a calligrapher and would like to do
    something similar to your website. Any suggestions?

    • sbranch says:

      It’s kind of a long story, but if you click on some of the drop-downs at the top of the page, I think you’ll find some info there. The blog is just two years old and I love adding to it. I think of it as a house with lots of rooms.

  82. Dawn MacKay says:

    It’s always so much fun to check in on your blog from up here in Maine. It looks like you and Joe (first names and we’ve never met! But it feels like we have!) are having a wonderful trip…so happy for you.

  83. Sharon Crane says:

    Hi Susan–I just received the 2014 calendar in the mail and I love it! Also, it was wonderful meeting you in Meredith, N.H. I will always treasure the snail-mail Willards that you signed for me!

  84. Kathie Ferko says:

    Good morning,
    Glad it is finally Autumn! It is my favorite time of year! I love the beads…..It is a perfect gift for my best girlfriend….we have been friends since Girl Scouts….some 40 years ago!

    I love hearing about all the book signings, but wonder if you will be near Philadelphia on this tour?

    Hope your tour is good. Be well!

    Happy Autumn

    Kathie Ferko
    Limerick, Pa

    • sbranch says:

      We’re thinking we might drive south after Christmas! It’s been wonderful Kathie, could not have asked for more.

  85. D.Ann says:

    I just have to say, you have made me feel so much better about the way I pack for a trip, lol! I need a lot of stuff too and I always end up with such a collection of suitcases and tote bags it isn’t even funny. I see other ladies who look so prim and proper with their one suitcase and a bad. Lol, I just can’t do it! So I’m glad to know I’m not the only one with a motley crew of bags and sundries with me on any given over night trip!

    • sbranch says:

      My mother is one of the other type. She walks in the door with almost a child’s suitcase, not even on wheels. Inside are enough clothes for a week, even including party clothes, sweaters, bathroom stuff … all her needs. How, I do not know. Bottomless, secret garden of a suitcase.

  86. Barbara M in Va says:

    Good Morning Susan and all girlfriends,
    I can go for days without reading/viewing your blog and when I am able to get here it is like a visit with an ole friend! So here is a hug from me XXX! Thank you for giving each of us sooooooooooo much of your time! It alone is a GIFT!
    I loved hearing the story of Ivy and I have to say I am not a tweeter but would like to send her a card…………by yes SNAIL MAIL!:)
    That’s me a “pen paler” by snail mail!!!!! Not sure I will ever get to the “Social Media” thing! (that is beyond what I am doing right now)
    I have your book on order at Barnes & Noble and am waiting for the CALL!:)
    Take good care and safe travels!
    My daughter and family have a cat that could pass for Jack’s sister!:)
    Hugs, Barb

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